January 16, 2013

Tributes Pour In For Kathy Gregory; What Others Are Saying

Tributes From The Volleyball World For Kathy Gregory

"Kathy Gregory is a legend.  Plain and simple.  Not only a legend in the Big West Conference, but in intercollegiate athletics in general and specifically the sport of volleyball.  The contributions that she's made to her sport, her university, and the conference are immeasurable.  I'm personally proud to have known Kathy for more than three decades and will miss her involvement with the Big West Conference." – Dennis Farrell, Commissioner of the Big West Conference

"Kathy was a relentless competitor as a player and her teams epitomized that quality. Her passion, commitment and superior knowledge of the game was evident in every UCSB match. The UCSB-Pacific matches produced some great battles in the late 70's/early 80's. She is a legend and our sport will not be the same without her - I wish her well." Terry Liskevych, Head Volleyball Coach at Oregon State and former Head Coach USA National & Olympic Teams from 1985-1996

"I want to thank Kathy for her contribution to the game, personal mentoring and friendship to me. There is no one anywhere that can rival her energy, honesty, compassion for others and competitive spirit. She will always be an undeniable icon in the coaching world. I send my congratulations to Kathy the Queen of Volleyball." – Carolyn Zimmerman, Head Volleyball Coach at Cal State Fullerton

"Kathy was always a 'good news-bad news' person for me. The good news was 'you always knew exactly what she was thinking!' The bad news was 'you always knew exactly what she was thinking!' No matter what the topic, or what the setting, Kathy was going to tell you exactly how she felt. That made her interesting/irritating/humorous/challenging/inspirational to be around. But, truth be told, the inspirational part was most common for me. I was continually amazed at the passion and intensity that Kathy brought to her coaching- and her teams always reflected that! I wished that I could have had some of Kathy's toughness and demanding nature (she certainly had plenty to spare). She is an all-time Gaucho great!" – Mark French, former UCSB Women's Basketball Coach

"Kathy and I have been friends for what seems like forever. Because of that, we've been through many ups together and many downs together, and I'm very thankful for those memories. Kathy has been a guiding light for the game of volleyball for almost 40 years, she has a passion for the game that is unmatched, and I'm sure she will succeed in whatever endeavors she undertakes in retirement." – Dave Shoji, Head Volleyball Coach at Hawai'i

"Kathy retiring is the end of an era. She's one of the most decorated players and coaches in volleyball history. She trademarked the game and helped grow it to where it is today as a successful international sport. To this day, Kathy is an important part of my life and I'm thankful for the opportunity I received in playing four years with her. I think it is a huge honor that I will go down as her last four-year setter. Kathy taught me so much about the game of volleyball, but even more so, she taught me so much about how to be a good person. I wouldn't be the young woman I am today without Kathy Gregory." – Dana Vargas, former UCSB Women's Volleyball All-American

"I am finding it hard to sum up what Kathy did for me over the five years of playing for her, but I can say a few things: she has undoubtedly made me a stronger, more confident person, and the lessons I learned from playing for her will always be with me. Kathy has pushed me to my limits, and from this I learned what I am truly capable of! Some may call it 'tough love,' but all I know is that I would not be the same person I am today without her. The way she truly cares for her players, both on and off the court, is so very apparent and inspiring. She is unarguably a model of passion and dedication to the sport. Kathy would always say 'you'll thank me later' and, looking back, I owe her much more than a 'thanks'. I cannot begin to express my gratitude and my respect for her, as she has helped shape so many women's lives, just like mine. My family and I will never forget what she has done for me and I cannot wait to hear about what the future may hold for her." – Stacey Schmidt, former UCSB Women's Volleyball All-American 

"My life has changed so much now. Volleyball is a distant memory for me, but Kathy isn't.  Life has brought on many, many challenges for me and I must admit, if it weren't for Kathy, I don't think I would be able to handle situations as well.  Gut it out, focus, figure out a way, don't take things personally, be a team player, don't be a 'kissy-face' (in other words, be honest), resepect an adversary, but above all give 150% in all that you do and have heart.  That's Kathy Gregory.  That's what she taught me." Chrissy Boehle, former UCSB Women's Volleyball All-Region Setter

"Kathy excelled at facilitating some of life's biggest lessons simply through playing the game we all loved. Playing for someone with as big of a personality as Kathy was demanding, and "mental toughness" was a must-have quality - or in my case 'you better learn to have it fast' quality! It turned out that finding the all important "mental toughness" and strengthening it was the single most important quality I gained, and one that I've carried with me since my time at UCSB. I've told others that she was by far the toughest, most demanding boss I've ever had or ever will have, and I thank her for that. I thank her for allowing me to attend my dream school, for the education both in the classroom and on the court, for making possible the most important friendships I have to this day, and for teaching us that sometimes it takes tough love to realize the full potential in yourself and others.

Congratulations on a fine and distinguished career Kathy, retirement is well deserved!" -- Katie Crawford, former UCSB All-American